Born: August 16, 1964 Primary Instrument: Bass
Mike Downes is one of Canada's finest jazz artists. He is an internationally recognized bassist, band leader, composer and educator. Mike has performed and/or recorded with virtually all of Canada's top jazz musicians, including Oliver Jones, Diana Krall, PJ Perry, Renee Rosnes, Ed Bickert, Don Thompson, Kirk MacDonald, Terry Clarke, Guido Basso, Pat Labarbera, Jerry Fuller, Moe Koffman, Jane Bunnett, and Mike Murley. As part of the Roy Patterson Quartet, he won the Prix de Jazz contest in the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1996. He has received two Juno nominations for his recordings with Ranee Lee and Lorne Lofsky, and his work with Molly Johnson has earned him critical acclaim as a composer and bassist.
He has recorded with international jazz stars John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, and Dave Liebman, and has performed with Curtis Fuller, Lew Tabackin, Chris Potter, Gary Bartz, Mike Stern, Kenny Wheeler, Louie Bellson, Ted Rosenthal, Geoff Keezer, Charles MacPherson, Dewey Redman, Jay McShann, and many others. His bass playing has delighted audiences across Canada, eastern and western Europe, the United States, Bermuda, Brazil, and Mexico.
Mike's acclaimed release Forces features an all-star band of Dave Restivo, Phil Dwyer, and Ted Warren. As a sideman, he has performed on over thirty professional recordings, on numerous radio and television shows, and he continues to be one of the most sought after bassists in Canada.
He has been called ?one of Canada's immensely talented young giants (Jazz Report), ?as strong a player as he is a composer (Calgary Herald), ?wonderfully resourceful? a huge tone and a prodigious technique (Winnipeg Free Press), and that ?his time playing is delightfully inventive and his intonation is absolutely impeccable?his lines are clear, hip, and agile. (Jazz Player).
As well as maintaining a busy performing career, Mike is the head of the bass department at prestigious Humber College www.humber.ca/creativeandperformingarts/music/diploma/ in Toronto. He is much in demand as a clinician across Canada.
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Helping to mentor and inspire young musicians is an important component of his career. He has been the Bass Department Head at prestigious Humber College in Toronto since 2000. He has also been featured as a Yamaha artist/clinician throughout Canada, at the Paekche Institute in Seoul, South Korea and the infamous Conservatoire de Paris. Mike is the author of The Jazz Bass Line Book published by Advance Music of Germany. The book is receiving world-wide acclaim as one of the most informative books available on the subject. He is also co-author of Jazz and Contemporary Music Theory.